Celebrating 35 Years of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
In 1975, the passage of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142) guaranteed access to a free, appropriate, public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment to every child with a disability. Subsequent amendments, as reflected in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), have led to an increased emphasis on access to the general education curriculum, the provision of services for young children from birth to five, transition planning and accountability for the achievement of students with disabilities.
During these 35 years, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has supported efforts that are making a difference for millions of children with disabilities, as well as their non-disabled friends and classmates. Many of the educational practices employed by our nation’s best teachers are the direct result of federal investments in rigorous educational research, training and technical assistance. Today, due largely to the provision of IDEA-supported programs and services, nearly 6.6 million infants, toddlers, children and youths with disabilities are achieving at levels that would not have been imagined in previous decades.
How has IDEA made a difference to you?
This year, OSERS is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). OSERS would like to hear from the great number of people who have been positively impacted by this legislation: individuals with disabilities, students, teachers, principals, researchers, parents, teacher trainers and other IDEA stakeholders. Please share your art work, photography, poetry and written stories showcasing how IDEA has positively impacted you for possible use during an event celebrating the 35th anniversary of IDEA. You may submit your documents and personal stories below before November 8th.